Is Manufacturer/Carrier Extended Device Care Worth It?
A device care program with the manufacturer or carrier can provide added peace-of-mind. But is it worth it?
AppleCare+, available for all iPhones, varies in pricing depending on the device, but includes an additional year of coverage beyond the standard one-year limited warranty. It offers hardware repairs, 90 days of complimentary support, 24/7 priority access to Apple experts via chat or iPhone, express replacement services, software support, and coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage. However, each incident is subject to an additional service fee: $39 for screen damage, and $129 for other types of damage. Hardware coverage includes not only the iPhone itself, but also the battery, as well as included accessories, like earphones.
On the one hand, you're guaranteed to get authentic Apple parts, or even a brand new device. However, there are limitations. If the damage to your phone goes beyond just a crack in the screen, such as if there's a dent or bend in the enclosure, Apple will not fix it under the $39 service fee. When factoring in the price of AppleCare+, along with the service fee, and guessing you'll damage the device once during the few years you own it, having a respected repair shop fix it might be more cost effective, even if you're hit with a $100-$200 fee all at once. You'll likely get the phone back quicker than you would when sending it to Apple, too.
For Android devices, carriers like Telus offer programs like Telus Device Care. A extra $9/mo. tacked onto your bill affords another year of warranty on top of the included year, allowing you to bypass the standard repair process, have a replacement device sent to you the next business day while you wait for yours to be fixed, and up to two incidents of accidental damage, liquid damage, or manufacturer defects (after the one-year period expires.)
But like with AppleCare+, you still have to pay a small service replacement fee that's anywhere from $25-$250, depending on the device tier. Which means a cracked screen within two years would cost at least $241 ($9/mo. for 24 months plus the lowest cost service replacement fee). If you were to crack your phone's screen once, and drop it in the toilet another, however, you might come out ahead, especially since the service replacement fee is dependent on the device you own, not the specific type of damage. As with any type of "insurance," it's a matter of hedging your bets.
One thing to note is that a company like Apple will likely wipe the device before a repair in order to protect it from a data breach, which requires you to back up your phone before you send it in. Third-party shops typically won't do that, though security worries could arise if you have sensitive content on the phone.
Even though having a device repaired through an extended warranty program might take longer, if you choose to repair an in-warranty device at a third-party shop to save time, it could void your warranty for whatever time you have left on it. If you think timing will be an issue, then, it might make more sense to forego the extended warranty and seek out a trusted repair shop to keep on speed dial.
At top: Mobil Klinik operates repair centres across Canada, with fully trained and bonded staff doing repairs right in front of customers.